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1 Market Summary

1.1 Definition and presentation

The term footwear refers to anything that is used to cover the foot and leg. Properly, the term "footwear" refers to both the shoe and the sock. However, in common language this term simply means the shoe.

Footwear can be made of different materials such as leather, animal skin, fabric, or fiber. Footwear can have different manufacturing techniques: some more artisanal others more industrial.

The main types of footwear that we can distinguish are:

  • Sneakers
  • Sandals
  • Heeled shoes
  • Boots
  • Accident prevention work shoes

Globally, the footwear market is clearly growing mainly due to the fact that trends in the apparel industry tend to be more transient and faster. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the global footwear market between the years 2021-2027 is expected to be 5.88 percent

As for Italy, this is the leading footwear producing country in the European Union, the eighth country in terms of exports, and the third country in terms of overall market turnover. The Italian footwear system is one of the fundamental pillars of the country's manufacturing sector and has as many as 4,100 companies and 72,000 employees (2020 figures).

Due to the pandemic, the footwear market, like the entire fashion industry, has experienced a drop in consumption (-30 percent compared to 2019) and consequently a big loss in turnover. Despite this negative data, the growth forecast for the coming years is positive thanks to the long Italian tradition of Made in Italy and the large numbers in terms of exports that have always distinguished the market.

Some of the largest and most competitive companies in the Italian market, also known internationally, are: Gucci, Prada, Geox, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tod's and Dolce & Gabbana.

1.2 The world market is growing strongly

Evolution and forecast of footwear sales World, ****-****, billion dollars Source: ****

The graph above shows the evolution and forecast of footwear sales by value (***) over the period ****-****. The market is growing fairly steadily over the period.

The forecast shows a steady growth trend for footwear sales in the up to ...

1.3 A very strong domestic production

Italian footwear production has always been one of the most important in the world. As seen in the previous part (***), Italy is the **th largest footwear producer in the world, and consequently its turnover is very high.

In addition, what contributes significantly to high production is the name of Made in ...

1.4 Foreign trade driven by luxury

Italian footwear trade with the rest of the world suffered greatly from the Covid-** crisis, and even today this market is marked by a difficult recovery (***).

As for footwear exports, there are consistent improvements that give positive signs for recovery. In fact, compared to ****, exports as a whole mark a +**.* percent ...

1.5 Covid-19 impact on the market: still a difficult recovery

The year **** for the footwear sector closed with a strong increase over **** (***) is slightly compromising this market, as Russia is an important partner for Italian footwear, especially in the luxury sector.


The slow market recovery during **** confirmed **** as annus horribilis for Italian footwear. In addition to the decline in the ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 The habits of Italian households

Italian household purchases by commodity segment show the following results:

Increase in Italian household spending compared to **** Italy, ****, in % Source: ****

The main segments of the footwear market show clear signs of recovery, in the case of women's and sports shoes and sneakers even in double digits. Despite this, levels are still ...

2.2 Italians' consumption: age, prices, sales channels


Italian household consumption by age of consumers Italy, ****, in millions of pairs Source: ****

The graph above highlights the amount of pairs of footwear used by consumer age group and gender. It is clear from the graph that in almost all age categories (***) that females dominate consumer demand.

Overall, children and ...

2.3 What drives Italians to buy a certain type of footwear

A **** research by Eurispes reveals the most important factors for Italians before buying a pair of shoes. Among these we find in particular:

Key characteristics for purchase Italy, ****, in % Source: ****

From these results, it is clear the importance for * out of ** Italians of the comfort of the shoe purchased. Despite the ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Footwear manufacturing companies in the country

Cribis ' **** report reveals some peculiarities about the composition of Italian companies operating in the footwear sector. The findings highlight the following compositions:

Composition of companies in the footwear sector Italy, ****, in % Source: ****

The manufacture of machinery for industry, refers to equipment for processing leather, hide, and other materials for ...

3.2 Employment in the sector

Employment in the footwear industry has suffered greatly from the Covid-** crisis. In fact, the number of employees has been declining since ****.

Number of employees in the footwear sector Italy, ****-****, in whole numbers Source: ****

After a significant increase between **** and **** (***). The industry's workforce is in sharp decline due to Covid-**, ...

3.3 The dynamism of Italian companies

Italian footwear companies are an important engine for the country's dynamism. In this part, the most dynamic regions will be highlighted. The paramenter used will be each region's contribution to international trade (***), measured as a percentage.

Thus, from the results on the **** performance of Italian companies, we find the following ...

4 Supply analysis

4.1 The different types of footwear on the market

There are several categories of consumer footwear. The footwear market can be segmented according to product use:

Casual and leisure footwear: these shoes can be covered with leather, synthetic materials, and rubber or fabric. There are many different models, depending on gender and use (***). They are generally marketed by shoe manufacturers ...

4.2 The price trend

Italy has the highest export prices for footwear in the world. In ****, it reaches $**.** per pair, which is twelve times the price of the Chinese pair (***).

In ****, the average export price in the world's ** most dynamic market countries was as follows:

Average export price of the world's top** exporters World, ****, in ...

4.3 The most commonly used materials

Footwear is produced using a variety of materials, the most popular being:

Leather and leather Synthetic Rubber Fabric

Italian footwear manufacturing companies are also involved in the marketing of these materials, and others.

Exports and imports by upper material Italy, ****, in % Source: ****

These data presented in the graph above are from ...

5 Rules and regulations

5.1 European regulation

For the manufacture and distribution of footwear, there are European-wide rules that manufacturers must follow.

All rules can be found at the following link.

Globally, the European standards deal with:

About equal purchase information On export control, brokering, technical assistance, transit and transfer of dual-use items On market surveillance and product ...

5.2 The national rules

From a national perspective, there are no specific rules for the marketing and production of shoes.

The only ones that may have some interest in this section are work shoes, called safety shoes, under EN ISO number *****.

In this part, the legislation regarding this type of work footwear will be briefly ...

6 Positioning of actors

6.1 Segmentation of actors

  • Decathlon Italie
  • Nike
  • Zalando
  • Gucci
  • Prada Groupe
  • Primadonna Collection
  • Geox

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Footwear sales development and forecast
  • Top 10 global footwear manufacturers
  • Turnover of footwear companies
  • Exports and imports of footwear
  • Footwear exports
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Latest news

Fashion: how Prada reinvents itself - 13/01/2024
  • Prada was founded in 1913 by brothers Mario and Martino Prada.
  • By 2023, Prada's retail sales have increased by 13% compared to 2022.
  • The luxury goods market is expected to see around 40% of its global sales absorbed by China by 2030, according to Bain & Company.
  • Prada created its own foundation in 1995, which is located in Milan.
Zalando's challenges for growth on the European scene - 12/10/2023
  • Sales volume in 25 European markets: 14.8 billion euros
  • Sales: 10.4 billion euros
  • More than 16,000 employees, including over 3,000 in technology
  • 12 logistics sites in Europe and 3 under construction, including 1 in France, at Montereau-sur-le-Jard (77)
  • More than 50 million active customers
  • It references 7,000 brands Its market share by volume in online fashion in France is 3.4%, placing the company in 5th position, behind Vinted (12.6%), Amazon (9.1%), Shein (8.4%) and H&M (3.9%) (source: Kantar, 1st half 2023).
Kering tackles crucial Gucci relaunch - 23/09/2023
  • Gucci is the main contributor to the revenues and profits of the Kering luxury group.
  • Between 2015 and 2022, Gucci sales almost tripled
  • Gucci's operating margin increased by 10 percentage points to 41% in 2019.
  • Gucci's goal is to break through the €15 billion sales barrier.
  • Gucci is forecast to achieve sales of just over €10 billion in 2023, up 3%.
  • The Chinese market accounts for a large share of Gucci's sales.
Prada, Milanese realism that keeps pace with the luxury giants - 13/03/2023
  • Sales up 25% to €4.2 billion
  • Above-market growth
  • The Italian brand saw its profits soar by 58% last year, to €465 million - strong sales growth in Europe and the United States more than offsetting a slowdown in China
Zalando back on earth for Europe's online fashion champion - 09/03/2023
  • Zalando has just announced sales down 0.1% to €10.34 billion.
  • Zalando gained 2.7 million active customers last year to pass the 51 million mark.
  • maintains target of 10% share of €450 billion fashion market
Zalando to cut hundreds of jobs - 21/02/2023
  • The Berlin-based online fashion specialist employs 17,000 people worldwide
  • Since its foundation in 2008, Zalando has become one of Europe's leading online apparel retail groups
  • Zalando employs 17,000 people worldwide
  • Program to reduce staff by several hundred positions

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Decathlon Italie
Prada Groupe
Primadonna Collection

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the footwear market | Italy

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